Talk about awkward! Just days before President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 again thanks to a rebound infection, he was mocking former President Donald Trump for how he bounced back from the bug.
Biden spoke in the Rose Garden, marching to the podium with a mask but removing it to talk, and drew cheers for saying that he could now return to work in person.
BIDEN TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 AGAIN: HOW COMMON IS A ‘REBOUND’ INFECTION?
“My symptoms were mild, my recovery was quick, and I’m feeling great,” he said. “The entire time I was in isolation, I was able to work. … It’s a real statement about where we are in the fight against COVID-19.”
He then took a shot at Trump, pointing out that the former president had to be transferred to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center when he got the coronavirus in 2020, whereas Biden continued working from the upper floor of the White House.
The jab at Trump looks slightly like a case of Biden throwing a stone from a glass house in the wake of Saturday’s announcement.
Trump has yet to comment on Biden’s rediagnosis.
While the commander in chief is not exhibiting any symptoms, his positive test has sparked questions about how common Paxlovid rebounds really are. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory in May about the antiviral, which is being prescribed to over 40,000 people per day, addressing the rebound risk. The agency acknowledged that there were cases where the illness returned, but it cautioned that none of those affected had reported severe symptoms. The CDC also said there was no evidence that a second prescription of Paxlovid would resolve any rebound symptoms.
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Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, said back in May that rebound infections were something they were “looking at very carefully,” adding that those cases were “not leading to people getting particularly sick.”
“But here’s the key point,” he said. “When people have rebound, they don’t end up in the hospital. They don’t end up particularly sick. And the goal of Paxlovid is to keep people from getting seriously ill.”
Haisten Willis and Emily Jacobs contributed to this report.